I’ve seen lots of Top 10 lists on the subject, and I’ve decided to try a different format for my own prognostications. Instead of by rank, I’ll do a list by industry. Also, I have way more than 10 predictions to make.
- Every major cable company will increase it’s rates by more than 3%. Nobody will complain, and our government will (again) fail to protect us from them.
- A resolution above 1080p starts appearing in demos and labs, I’d predict a bump up into the 4000 vertical lines space.
- Bluray and HD-DVD continue to duke it out while consumers continue to not care.
- One of Hulu, Joost, etc get integrated into the Xbox 360 and/or PS3.
- Google launches “Android for Set-Top Boxes” but gains little traction in the foreseeable future.
- Anyone who is not a telephone company that tries to launch an IP-streaming set top device has a very rough year.
- Despite near-constant predictions of their demise, TiVo makes it through another year, possibly getting acquired (by DirecTV, Comcast, Netflix, Blockbuster, or someone out of the blue like Amazon or eBay).
Portable Devices That Are Not Cell Phones
- Zune 3.0 launches. It’s very very good. Further, iPod’s market share dips, although they still have an increase in overall unit sales (in other words: the pie gets bigger faster than their sales do). That said, a new iPod is even more betterer than all previous versions, making everyone who recently bought a prior generation a wee bit annoyed, but gosh that Steve Jobs is so charming they just don’t care. After all, that’s technology!
- At least two major camera vendors introduce integrated wifi cameras, but no more than one uses an open service, the rest have some proprietary, closed, annoying-to-use system. Ideally one of them buys Eye-fi.
- Digital picture frames continue to grow in market share, but still don’t “tip” into the mainstream.
- More companies introduce e-book readers despite general malaise in the category. Kindle II is launched with mild improvements.
- I have no clue, I don’t follow the space. Hello, this is a consumer tech blog!
- Apple’s new laptops will include an ultramobile, a tablet, and a “desktop replacement” OR a “gaming model” (they may combine the first two). Enhancements will include a card reader, 3G access as a built-in option, and new gestures. Market share continues to climb.
- Microsoft continues to spin about how amazing Vista is. Michael Gartenberg’s observations are probably the most poignant as to why it isn’t.
- Asus or Dell acquires or merges with one of HP, Acer, Toshiba, or other “meh” PC maker.
- Sony continues to make subpar Vaio laptops. And for the last time (I think) in 2007: don’t buy the Sony Vaio VGN-SZ4xx series laptops, they are just plain terrible. I’ve now had the chance to voice my discontent directly to the Vaio PR team (at Ruder Finn) who have yet to write me back on the topic.
- Nobody makes my awesome dual-screen laptop concept, thus leaving me the opportunity to make zillions one day.
- Facebook continues to get backlash from the media and tech community, meanwhile its user base continues to skyrocket. Further, they hire another 1000 people, yet only make modest improvements to the site itself. I’d add a 33% chance that they “pull a Netscape” and go after the desktop or the browser or some other place they really don’t belong.
- Randomly pick some names from the huge list of other social networking sites and some of them merge.
- Adults who didn’t grow up with social networking services experience burnout of being bitten by zombies after a few months, and many stop checking in four times per day. Those who went to school during the Facebook era continue to complain about all the old fogies (like me) polluting their sacred resting ground. They also continue to put radically inappropriate pictures of themselves online, blissfully unaware of the interviewing process.
- A few Android-powered phones ship, but not as many as the tech community would like to see. Again showing why the Razr can utterly dominate the market despite a closed architecture and terrible user interface.
- Apple launches the iPhone 3G, the iPhone nano, and the iPhonePro. Ok, I’m not 100% sure on the third, but I am betting on the first two. Also, one of these new phones comes unlocked OR on a carrier other than AT&T.
- Some major lawsuit occurs between a carrier and either a cable company or a broadcaster, all about mobile video rights. All parties involved appear as nothing but greedy to outsiders.
- Something new comes out in the phone space that’s more astounding than the iPhone. It’s possibly: uber-small, has a radically better battery life, does something funky like synchs with the Wii, or works with all US carriers.
- With lots of stealth, a new console comes to market. It might only be a moderate shift from a prior model, or possibly be a whole new entrant.
- Rock Band 2 and 3, and Guitar Heros 4, 5, 6, and “Eddie Van Halen” editions come out, however nobody licenses the Harmonix engine to make “Jazz Trio”.
- Someone comes up with a really impressively new concept for the Wii. Good odds, however, that they wrap it inside a crappy game.
- More really amazing HD gaming occurs, continuing to drive HD adoption faster than the meager channels the cable companies try to placate us with, despite the fact that they raise prices again. Did I already say that?
- A wide swath of “Web 2.0” companies will go dark, primarily out of an inability to either figure out a business model for their product, or an inability to successfully market their service outside of the Bay Area. They will quickly be forgotten and replaced by new ones with even goofier sounding names like Froobooloo.com.
- No major Wimax deployments occur.
- The digital transition date looms, starts creating a lot of media hype a la Year2000 mania.
- RFID continues to be a fun topic for the media, but all that happens is Walmart continues to make small vendors spend loads of money for the privelege of selling there.
- Bloggers fret about not being recognized as “press”, yet continue to spend too much time/energy gossiping about other bloggers, an activity the general public remains disinterested in and doesn’t give extra respect/credibility for. This circular logic is baffling, I know.
- We lose even more rights to big media, because few Americans are willing to take even the tiniest steps to do anything about it. PLEASE PROVE ME WRONG (start here)!
- I still don’t Twitter.
See you in 366 days to see how I scored!